My friend, Samir Husni has announced his decision to devote “the remaining years of his professional career” (which I’m sure will be a long time) to the creation of the Magazine Innovation Center to be located at the University of Mississippi, where he is now head of the Ole Miss journalism department.
Earlier today, Folio: reported the launch of the center and quoted Samir:
“As an industry, we’re so cocooned in what we are doing. We’re going to use this as a base, a think tank, where we’ll bring in people from publishing, advertising, and printing from all over the world—away from the daily grind of New York or other major cities—to spend three or four days here working on a specific problem.”
This is great news and I look forward to supporting and taking part in the Center’s programs.
A couple of weeks ago, as I blogged (and here), I was in Oxford to speak with a group of Samir’s students. I also spent time engaged in seriously wonkish magazine talk with Samir — including over lunch at his wife’s incredibly delicious restaurant that, if this blog had restaurant reviews, would receive 5-stars. (If you’re ever looking for a great restaurant in Oxford, Miss.: Marie’s Lebanese Cuisine).
Then I got Samir to show me where he stores his collection of first-edition (vol. 1, #1) magazines. They are hidden in a secret climate-controlled cave deep below the stately Mr. Magazine Manor (translation: stored in an undisclosed air-conditioned warehousing facility after he catalogs them each year for his annual guide to magazine launches.)
So here is a RexBlog video exclusive. The first ever video of the secret Mag Cave. (I also added a short clip from the video I posted last week to help explain what we’re seeing.):